Yikes. A kind of validation

The TJ is running a story today called “Province needs to grow like Alberta” which concludes that:

Self-sufficiency Analysis shows gross domestic product must outstrip Canadian average by 1.5 points to achieve 20-year goal. “To achieve self-sufficiency, New Brunswick will have to dramatically improve its productivity and obtain sustained GDP growth rates comparable to Alberta’s – at least in comparison to the current national average,” UNB’s Foord and McLaughlin say in the analysis.”

To me this is self-evident (and I discussed this in several blogs). I have said several times that Alberta-style growth would be required to meet the self-sufficiency targets.

But the other statement that I find interesting is:

Under that scenario [current trend] , “New Brunswick receives payments for hospitals, schools, colleges and universities, and in return offers up its youth as surplus labour for deployment in other parts of Canada and elsewhere,” say Foord and McLaughlin.

You say potato, I say potahto. This is my labour market incubator theory (or rather historical observation).

In fact, a cynic might say that this model works just find for the ‘have’ provinces. Pay us Equalization to cover the cost of developing tens of thousands of workers for their labour markets.

The opposite – a model where New Brunswick is actually attracting workers from Ontario, et. al. while still receiving Equalization – would like to lead to additional stresses on Confederation.

It would upset the apple cart so to speak.

But at least more and more folks are starting realize this stuff.

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0 Responses to Yikes. A kind of validation

  1. Anonymous says:

    I told you that this would change, you’ll see that view increase as well. That’s because they need political momentum to offer handouts to billion dollar potash companies, ignore federal regulations on new oil refineries, and what may be just plain common sense on nuclear reactors. If everybody thinks everything is fine, as the papers commonly stated, then they certainly won’t bend over for those industries.

    It’s interesting those views are coming out more and more now, but really the demographics haven’t changed that much since last year.

    However, I know you agree with it, but the fact is that numerous places are quite happy with their levels of growth and they are nowhere near Alberta’s. As for ‘productivity’ and GDP that doesn’t mean as much as one thinks. Say for example they want massive growth, so they extract every bit of potash and cut down every tree in the next ten years, would anybody actually say that that is ‘better’ or even good? At the end of it there would be nothing left.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Anonymous,I think you represent the complacent majority of New Brunswick.

    I agree that most of us are living an acceptable life at the moment but it is hardly sustainable. Fredericton does not have a money tree nor does Ottawa and the various injections of money from outside the province are nice while they last but we can hardly expect them to last forever.

    Few economic development advocates would suggest growth at a rate that compromises our future. However, to suggest that we like how things are today so let’s not change anything is very short sighted.

    But this is not our fault. I think the government needs to allow residents to experience more pain in order to provoke a sense of urgency to embrace change. Let’s close some more hospitals. Shut down some schools. Stop the bailouts to the rural areas. Maintain the highways that meet minimum traffic/usage levels and let the others go. We really cannot afford these things on our own so why mislead people?

    My point is, we are a little too comfortable and that comfort is artifical and unsustainable; it results from inflated transfer payments that,for the moment, Ottawa has the luxury to provide. We do need economic development and it would be much better to take more control of our destiny. The solution is to promote sustainable, intelligent and respectful economic development.

  3. Anonymous says:

    The conclusion may be valid, however, If the province were to support ‘sustainable intelligent growth’ then virtually nobody would have a problem. That isn’t happening, and its doubtful that it will happen, so the ‘remedy’, namely making life harder on people, well, I suppose thats one view. If people’s lives are miserable enough then they will take any growth.

    Of course if you do that, all that happens is the population leaves. Which lowers the per capita transfers even more, which simply exacerbates the problem in the first place.

    But again, there is TONS of money in the province and tons of resources. Unfortunately, they are all being given away for the sake of some short term jobs and high investment profits.

    But as David frequently points out, the present IS sustainable, if desirable. New Brunswick has a perfect right to all that equalization, in fact probably more since it educates the workers that then go on to other provinces. Unfortunately THEY don’t see it that way, but again, mostly for political reasons. McGuinty is busy paying off unions, executives and industries, so needs somebody to blame, so its the equalization program. Even though reading this blog for just a month will show you just how much more Ontario gets out of the federation.

    So that is no argument. The debate about ‘unsustainability’ has more to do with political reality than questions of social justice. Canada is a very wealthy country, unfortunately, as the years and decades progress the distribution of wealth is making the country look more and more like a third world banana republic. The only reason it isn’t is because we aren’t right next to a marginalized country and have stringent immigration requirements.

    So its always interesting to see the thought process that says ‘lets be harder on taxpayers and the poor’ meanwhile nobody even mentions those who have massive wealth. Just a reminder that I’ve posted elsewhere, the ONLY income bracket who saw NO tax increase this year in the liberals “we gotta increase taxes or we’re all gonna dieeeee” budget was those earning 110,000 a year and over. You can’t seriously look at that and think that the problem is some schools and hospitals.